The day you finally receive your prosthetic eye will be an exciting one. You are probably tired of wearing a patch over one eye and ready to finally look like a two-eyed human in public again! But while wearing a prosthetic eye can be very rewarding, there is some adjustment involved. Follow these five tips as you adapt to wearing your prosthesis.
1. Practice insertion and removal.
There's nothing more frustrating than waking up in the morning, trying to insert your prosthesis, and then having to leave the home without it because you ran out of time before work. When you're new to wearing your eye, inserting and removing it can take some time. To speed up the process, spend a little time practicing insertion and removal. Do it again and again until you can get it right the first time. This way, you won't feel rushed or panicked before work.
2. Only use soap and water for cleaning.
Some new patients make the mistake of using harsh or abrasive cleaners on their prosthesis. But all you really need is soap and water. Harsher cleaners may damage the finish on the prosthesis or irritate your skin. To wash your prosthetic eye, first clean your hands with soap and water. Then, run the eye under warm water. Add a squeeze of a very mild soap, like baby shampoo, and use your fingers to rub the eye. Rinse it very thoroughly, and then dry it with a soft, absorbent cloth, rubbing in circular motions.
3. Wear it for part of a day first.
When you are not yet used to wearing a prosthesis, it can make your eye socket feel sore and tired after just an hour or two. Instead of forcing yourself to wear it all through the day in discomfort, start by only wearing the eye for part of the day. Bring your patch with you, and at lunch time, take the eye out and put the patch back on. Once your socket no longer feels sore by lunch time, you can progress towards wearing the prosthesis through the work day and taking it out when you get home. A few weeks later, you can start wearing it through all of your waking hours.
4. Carry your case and patch with you.
If your doctor did not give you a special carrying and protective case with your prosthetic eye, purchase one. A style with lots of padding is best since it offers the most protection if you drop the eye. Carry this case, and also your eye patch, with you all of the time. This way, if your eye socket gets tired, you can take your prosthesis out and not have to walk around with your patch.
5. Schedule professional polishing.
Most people need to have their eye polished about every couple of months. This will help keep the eye smooth and remove deposits that you can't remove with soap and water alone. Ask your doctor to recommend a company that offers this service in your area, and schedule the polishing in advance so you don't have to wait as long for an appointment. Usually, you can wait while they polish your eye. It only takes a few minutes, but it is important maintenance. A prosthetic eye will last, on average, about five years, and regular cleaning helps maximize its lifespan.
In time, living with a prosthetic eye will feel totally normal and natural. If you have any additional concerns about your prosthetic eye, reach out to a professional at businesses like Real Life Faces. They have helped many other patients adjust and can do the same for you.